Division 53 | Student Mentorship

Student Mentorship

Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Mentorship Program

The Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) Student Advisory Board is pleased to announce a call for interested mentors and mentees to participate in the APA Division 53 Mentorship Program! The program, which began in 2012, serves to connect undergraduate students with graduate students in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology programs across the country. We have also recently expanded the program so that graduate students in psychology can be mentored by postdoctoral scholars and early career psychologists. Since 2012, hundreds of psychology students and professionals have participated in our program.
The program offers undergraduate students interested in clinical child and adolescent psychology the opportunity to ask questions and gain guidance from graduate students, while graduate students will offer advice and recommendations on various topics, including the graduate school application process, career objectives, research and clinical interests, and graduate student life. Graduate and undergraduate students will be matched according to their interests, and then provided with email information to initiate contact. Additionally, graduate students can now elect to be mentored by a postdoctoral scholar or early career psychologist to receive mentorship around career development, the job market, and next steps in one’s professional trajectory as a child and adolescent psychologist.

Mission: Our mission is to facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships among Division 53 professionals and students. We believe in the power of mentoring to foster personal and professional development, enhance connections to the child and adolescent psychology community, mutually build professional networks and support systems and, subsequently, provide only the highest level of care to the people we serve.

Vision: For this mentorship program to consistently develop future leaders in the field of psychology who will strive to uphold the values of scientific excellence and a commitment to the wellbeing of children and adolescents across a variety of research and clinical settings
To learn more about the program, please email the SCCAP Student Advisory Board at: div53mentoring@gmail.com
To apply for the program please click on the appropriate link(s) below. Please note, if you are interested in being both a graduate student mentor (i.e., mentoring an undergraduate student) and graduate student mentee (i.e., receiving mentorship from a more advanced professional), you must complete both relevant application forms. 
We will put out a “call” for applications and match mentors and mentees three times a year so please look out for email announcements on the Division 53 listserv. Any applications submitted outside of these three call periods will be reviewed at the following announced due date. 
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to connecting with you!
Undergraduate Student Mentee Application (i.e., I am an undergraduate student and want to receive mentorship): http://goo.gl/forms/a4JAczNSLIg3qsDP2  
Graduate Student Mentor Application (i.e., I am a graduate student and want to be a mentor to an undergraduate): http://goo.gl/forms/HrEr0CaX1454t7jo2
Graduate Student Mentee Application (i.e., I am a graduate student and want to receive mentorship from a postdoc and/or early career psychologist): http://goo.gl/forms/OosN39e9GNGkYDpw1
Early Career Psychologist Mentor Application (i.e., I am a postdoc and/or early career psychologist and want to be a mentor to a graduate student): http://goo.gl/forms/0VA5aawKS6V11q193

Career Columns

In order to highlight the range of possible career trajectories within the field of child and adolescent clinical psychology, we are pleased to introduce our new bimonthly Career Column. Each column features a different child and adolescent-focused clinical psychologist. The columnists describe their current role or roles; the path taken to arrive at their current positions; the training, support, and other experiences they have found valuable; and recommendations for current students.

Shabnam Javdani, Ph.D., New York University, Steinhardt

Shabnam Javdani, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Psychology
New York University, Steinhardt

1. What is your current occupation?

I am an Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

2. What do you do? / Describe your role.

I am a researcher and scholar-activist, a teacher and advisor to undergraduate and graduate students, a member of multiple committees and professional organizations, and the Principal Investigator of the RISE (Researching Inequity in Society Ecologically) research team. I feel very privileged to occupy these multiple roles and I am never ever bored!

3. How did you learn about your job? 

I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the job was posted to several listservs to which I belong. I knew the job was a potentially strong fit for me when about half a dozen people re-forwarded me the position announcement and encouraged me to apply. I might not have done so if I was not so strongly encouraged (and I am so grateful that I did).

4. How have you navigated your career? As in, what was the process that you took to get to your current position?

Three things come to mind. First, I worked with amazing people in graduate school and on my internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Juvenile Research. My mentors opened up doors for me – both in terms of giving me access to resources I needed to succeed, and because they encouraged me to keep thinking and generating ideas. I collaborated with wonderful peers and learned so much from them (plus they made everything more fun). Second, I really made an effort to prioritize writing. I was a late bloomer – my first publication came out during the end of my fourth year of doctoral study, but I kept the momentum going by writing for at least one hour every day for the rest of my time as a student. Third, I had the privilege of working with mentors who encouraged me to take some calculated risks early on. I designed and piloted an intervention (that is now federally funded almost 10 years later!) and I got involved in many different projects from several different fields.

5. Are you a member of SCCAP? If so, how has being a member of SCCAP been helpful to you?

Yes! I love the scholarship generated by our division. In particular, I greatly appreciate the threads of social justice interwoven in the way research questions are asked, the prioritization of youth and children’s right to mental health, an emphasis on scientific rigor, and a clear vision and mission to shift policy and practice.

6. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job? Why?

Working with fantastic people on social problems and being able to generate, implement, and evaluate solutions as a collective research team.

7. What is a tough aspect of your job?  How have you handled it?

There’s not enough time in the day (read: finding balance). I handle it as best as I can through relying on my amazing team and listening to their advice regarding how to organize our work. I also try very hard to make time for writing no matter how much is going on. I am not always successful in this, but it is a constant effort that I hold myself accountable to by being part of a supportive writing group with brilliant people facing the same challenges.
8. What is one thing that you wish you had known as a graduate student or post-doc/early career psychologist that would have helped you navigate your career?

To say “no” to more opportunities, and to know how to decide which of these opportunities to decline and which of them to pursue. I am still learning, but my vision is clearer now.

9. What advice would you give to students (including undergrads and grads) who may be interested in doing what you do?

Take initiative, collaborate with strong peers, learn how to write scholarly papers, and write, write, write (even consider joining or forming a writing group)! But, don’t forget to take care of yourself and be a good citizen in the process.

Past Columns

Jennifer L. Hughes, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Click here to read Jennifer L. Hughes's Career Column


Kathryn Barbash, Psy.D.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Click here to read Kathryn Barbash's Career Column


Erin Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology,
University of Texas at Austin

Click here to read Erin Rodriguez's Career Column

Melody Keller, Ph.D.
Director, UCSF Youth OCD Intensive Outpatient Program,
Pacific Anxiety Group, Menlo Park, CA

Click here to read Melody Keller's Career Column

Andrea Letamendi, Ph.D.
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, Pasadena, CA

Click here to read Andrea Letamendi's Career Column

Pascale Stemmle, Psy.D.
Pacific Anxiety Group, Menlo Park, CA

Click here to read Pascale Stemmle's Career Column

Adrienne Fricker-Elhai, Ph.D.
The Cullen Center, Promedica Toledo Children’s Hospital

Click here to read Adrienne Fricker-Elhai's Career Column

Paula Fite, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
University of Kansas

Click here to read Paula Fite's Career Column

Cari McCarty, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor in Pediatrics
University of Washington

Click here to read Cari McCarty’s Career Column

Greta Massetti, Ph.D., Branch Chief, Research and Evaluation Branch
Division of Violence Prevention, Center for Disease Prevention and Control

Click here to read Greta Massetti’s Career Column

Dan Cheron, Ph.D., Judge Baker Children’s Center / Harvard Medical School

Click here to read Dan Cheron’s Career Column